Are Comments Good or Bad?

Here is an article of the “Ten Best Sentences” in literature (with an eleventh thrown in as a bonus).  Maybe this will inspire you.  Maybe it will depress you.  Either way, a fun read.

One article I read this week had to do with removing the ability for people to comment on your blog.  This is an interesting debate and a good case can be made for removing the comments (goodbye spam!) as well as for keeping them.  Personally, I have gone back and forth on the issue — allowing comments, not allowing, and  allowing again.

So blog comments – should you or shouldn’t you?

8 thoughts on “Are Comments Good or Bad?

  1. I don’t think there’s any hard and fast rule to whether you should allow or disallow comments on a blog. It really depends on the topics discuss. If you’re posing questions for the purpose of starting discussion (like here), then obviously having comments is wonderful. If, however, you’re using your post as simply informational and don’t wish to engage in any kind of debate, then no comments is best.

    It’s unfortunately also becoming the norm where people are unable to keep their undesirable side to themselves, and forum comments become nasty quite quickly. And it’s simply extra work for the moderator to sift through the mud to find the clear water.

    In fact, I often find that when I think that maybe I want to comment, I scan through the comments and see that discussion has devolved, and then I change my mind, because I don’t want to get dragged into the world of internet trolls. But a blog such as Commenteri, where questions are posed and discussion is encouraged, it seems fitting.

    (But man, I’d love to be able to edit my comments when I inevitably make a typo…) 😛

  2. I don’t frequent too many blogs, but I know you can edit your comments on WoW Insider’s site. After you post, there’s a link at the end of your comment that gives you 5 minutes to make any edits.

  3. No comments allowed on any of my blogs. If you want to say something to me, we already have Twitter, which is much less anonymous and much easier for me to manage.

  4. Twitter is less anonymous? Since when can you ip trace your respondant via twitter to help you gain enhanced hueristics? That’s one of the best reasons to have local based semi-filtered comments, especially when some jerk threatens you and you need concrete proof of his insecurities.

  5. In my experience, Twitter is less anonymous in practice, even though it is technologically easier to be anonymous there than it is in comments. Also, the constant work of filtering comments is, in my opinion, far more onerous than occasionally needing to block or mute someone on Twitter.

  6. I can definitely see what both of you are saying. I think I may lean a little more toward Ryan’s opinion though, because just yesterday, I was scanning forum comments to a random news article, and it was incredible the number of people listed their names as “poop” or “penis” just to be able to play the role of internet troll. Many people aren’t going to go through the trouble of making a false Twitter account with all of its verification processes, just to rile up some people on the internet.

    That said, I don’t agree with Ryan about never allowing comments on a blog. Like I said in my previous comment, the only reason not to allow comments would be if you’re simply sharing information that doesn’t require debate. Otherwise, why are you putting something on the internet if you don’t want people to see it and have an opinion?

    Here’s hoping that Commenteri doesn’t catch the eye of all of the “poops” and “penises” out there, because I enjoy this discussion.

What do you think?